Sat, 05 Feb 2000

Hashim survives bankruptcy suit at Supreme Court

JAKARTA (JP): The Supreme Court has rejected a bankruptcy appeal filed against businessman Hashim Djojohadikusumo, according to a court document.

The Supreme Court verdict document, dated Jan. 24, said the case should have been filed at the State Court, not the Bankruptcy Court.

"There is an indication toward a breach of contract on the part of the plaintiff and the defendant, and this needs further proving at the State Court," said the verdict.

Businessman Bernard Ibnu Hardjojo filed a bankruptcy suit against Hashim at the Jakarta Commercial Court in late November.

The plaintiff claimed that Hashim failed to make a US$642,600 final payment in a series of payments in a transaction in which Hashim was the buyer of general trading company PT Gunung Ngadeg Djaja, then owned by Ibnu.

The Commercial Court in late December issued a verdict in favor of Hashim, saying that the bankruptcy suit failed to spell out a clear amount of the debt owed by Hashim.

Ibnu then appealed to the Supreme Court, calling the Commercial Court's verdict groundless.

The Supreme Court rejected the appeal and sustained the lower Commercial Court's ruling on the case.

The plaintiff's lawyer, Iim Abdul Halim from Sholeh, Adnan and Associates law firm, disappointed by the appeal verdict, said he was working on the arguments to bring the case to Civil Review at the Supreme court.

Civil Review is the final decision of a court proceeding. It can be granted only if either there is a serious misapplication of the law (in the lower court as well as at the appeal level) or the discovery of new evidence.

"The Supreme Court's verdict sustained the Commercial Court's verdict, but it is awkward that the two verdicts did not come about from the same basis of arguments," he said.

Iim said the verdict produced by the Supreme Court used the argument of "there was a possible breach of contract in the part of the plaintiff and the defendant" while the Commercial Court said "the amount of the debt was unclear".

Meanwhile, the defendant's lawyer, Hotman Paris Hutapea, said the plaintiff's bankruptcy suit was invalid because the plaintiff had committed a breach of contract.

"A creditor loses the right to file a bankruptcy suit if the creditor himself has committed a breach of contract," Hotman said. (udi)